85 F
Cruz Bay
Sunday, June 23, 2024
HomeArts-EntertainmentExhibitionsCrucian Christmas Festival Exhibit Marks 2nd Anniversary for Cane Roots Art Gallery

Crucian Christmas Festival Exhibit Marks 2nd Anniversary for Cane Roots Art Gallery

Carnival Exuberance by Lynn Voytershark. (Source photo by Elisa McKay)

Cane Roots Art Gallery in downtown Christiansted opened a Crucian Christmas Festival exhibit on Dec. 13. Gallerist Sonia Deane curated colorful paintings, drawings, and costumes by local artists that can be viewed during the holiday season through Jan. 4.

“When you walk in the gallery, you will be transported into the festival,” Deane said. 

Jamesie King of Quelbe by Krishna Banwaree Jr. (Source photo by Elisa McKay)

“COVID left us longing for the ritual of our Crucian Christmas Festival. This year, the Festival is offered to the community in person, yet the gallery is committed, after its first Festival exhibit in 2022 — to a yearly exhibit inside its walls — to share the vibrancy of the annual event in ‘real time’ for the duration of the season.” 

Zulu Troupe by El’Roy Simmonds. (Source photo by Elisa McKay)

Last year the gallery offered a “phenomenal body of photographic work by Malik Bascombe, David Berg, Chalana Brown and moko jumbie costumes designed by Curliss Solomon and Willard John in ‘Ready for De Road’ exhibit that resonated in the gallery.”

Carnival Jumbie by Phyllis Charles. (Source photo by Elisa McKay)

This year, the gallery walls are filled with a wide variety of visual art on canvas and paper. Each corner of the room boasts colorful costumes “reimagined from events in our history and worn in our Sanctuary Troupe,” said costume designer Chalana Brown. 

Masqueraders Costume by Chalana Brown. (Source photo by Elisa McKay)

“The idea I would like to have each year is that people will walk in the gallery and become swept up with the joy of the holidays,” Deane said 

Archival photographs circa 1800s. (Source photo by Elisa McKay)

With congratulations as the order of the day and two years behind her in the gallery, Deane said, “It feels really wonderful to be here in downtown Christiansted. I’m at the end of the last block on Company Street with the Sampson House store at the other end. I’m a distance away from all the other stores and shops further down, in a spot that needs to be revitalized. I’m a renaissance woman and I’m holding strong. I still feel the joy as I did the day I opened in 2020. I’m optimistic about my second year of being here.”

She’s Royal, Caribbean Queen by John Jones. (Source photo by Elisa McKay)

Deane spoke about her clientele and the positive responses she gets from them. “Everyone comes in saying how good it feels to be in the gallery. They talk about what they see me doing for the arts and the community as being a ‘great job’ and that makes me feel like I’m on the right path.”

We Got This by Jane Akin. (Source photo by Elisa McKay)

Besides viewing the fine art, Deane wants people to feel comfortable enough to sit and converse about art, peruse the very good selection of art books she offers, and sip a beverage with her. She enjoys that hominess and she doesn’t want to lose that, she said. “It’s not always about buying art. It’s also about the conversation about art and about life. That feels good.”

Costume designer Brown worked with wire artist Waldemar Brodhurst to reimagine the “Fireburn” costume, specifically “Queen Mary.” “He took the time to teach me wire art and gave me the opportunity to work with him in his studio space.”

Queen Mary Fireburn costume by Chalana Brown and J’Ouvert Morning by Alexix Camarena. (Source photo by Elisa McKay)

The historical events or characters of the Sanctuary Troupe are in the masquerading tradition that they reimagine for contemporary times, Brown said. 

Brown is the Cover Artist in the December issue of St. Croix This Week magazine.

The Crucian Christmas Festival exhibit can be seen through Jan. 4 at Cane Roots Art Gallery.

For more information:


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.